Object Title

4.75 in howitzer

4.75 in howitzer

Date

1843-1844

Object Number

XIX.108

Provenance

Transferred from the India Office to the Indian Section of the Victoria & Albert Museum, No.4-1894. I.S., in 1894, and from the Museum to the Armouries in 1958.

Physical Description

The piece is engraved with bands of conventional foliage and with three inscriptions in Arabic scrip reading:


On the main panel
'Victory by grace of the auspicious, timeless word of the Guru, may its realm and rule endure. Maharajah Sher Singh Bahadur in the Samvat year 1900 from Rajah Bikramajit'.


On a panel nearer the breech
'This gun called 'Shirin' (ie.'Sweet')[was made] according to the noble, revered and exalted order of the radiant presence under the charge of the sahib (ie.European) with the parts of Aristotle, the Plato of his age, counsellor and commander General Gornar Sahib Bahadur....'


On a smaller panel
'...was cast by the good work of Fazl Ali Khan pupil of the Sahib Bahadur praised [above].'
There is a mounting for a back sight on the upper edge of the cascabel. The gun is well finished in the English style

Dimensions

Dimensions: Length: 33.5 in (85 cm), Overall length: 37.5 in (95.3 cm)

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number nvn

Calibre

4.75 in _ (12.1 cm)

Associations

Places India

Bibliographic References

H.L.Blackmore, The Armouries of the Tower of London, Ordnance Catalogue, H.M.S.O. London 1976., No.230, p.166.

Notes

Sher Singh, for whom the gun was cast, was ruler of the Punjab from 1841 to 1843 (cf. No.229). 'General Gornar', a European in the Sikh service, may possibly be identified with Colonel Alexander Gardner, who had originally entered the service of Ranjit Singh (see 'Memoirs of Alexander Gardner Colonel of Artillery in the service of Maharajah Ranjit Singh' (Edinburgh, 1898) and cf.No.228). The reference to the 'Guru' is to the Sikh revealed doctrine and community of believers. The year 1900 of the Vikram Samvat era corresponds to a year running from early A.D. 1843 to early 1844. Rajah Bikramajit was the mythical originator of the era.